Movies – Moneyball

18 Sep

Baseball movies typically appeal mainly to baseball fans. So you would think that a baseball movie that is based on a true story and involves “changing the game for good”, as Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) puts it, would be a definite ‘skip it’ for anyone who is not of that ilk. Well you couldn’t be further from the truth. I myself am a sports fan but not a huge baseball fan. Some of the people who attended the movie with me, probably couldn’t even name half of the teams in the majors. However, after the movie, they were pleasantly surprised that they genuinely enjoyed Moneyball.

The film begins with Billy Beane finding out that not only has his team, The Oakland A’s, lost in the divisional round of the playoffs the previous season, but now he has also lost his three best players. When he speaks with his boss he discovers that things have gone from bad to worse. The owner informs him that as a small market team there is no money to be spent to replace these superstars. Billy is left to replace three superstars and field a winning team on a shoestring budget.

During a stop on his bargain hunting tour, Billy encounters Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a Yale economics grad who he later discovers has the answer to his prayers. Peter has a theory you can field a winning team by choosing average players that no-one else wants for whatever reason. The two of them jokingly refer to this idea as fielding an island of misfit toys. Peter uses his computer and a program he developed himself to crunch stats. With this program he finds players with a knack for getting on base and scoring runs.

With an ‘us against the baseball world’ attitude Billy and Peter begin their quest to find the bargain players they need to make a go of it. Along the way they meet opposition at every turn. Even the A’s manger, Art Howe (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), throws a wrench in the works when he refuses to play the misfits they have collected.

The entire movie is fantastic from beginning to end. It has dramatic moments, funny moments, exciting moments, it has it all. The interaction between Pitt and his daughter Casey (Kerris Dorsey) is heartwarming and makes you feel for Billy as he struggles along.

This is definitely one of the best, if not the best, baseball movies I’ve ever seen. Therefore, if you’re a baseball fan, see this movie. If you’re not a baseball fan, see this movie. If you like Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, see this movie. If you don’t like them, see this movie. Oh heck, just go see this movie. You won’t be disappointed.

I give it 9 cheeseburgers.

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One Response to “Movies – Moneyball”

  1. Charles Pavlack September 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    I enjoyed the movie, but not as much as you did. I’d probably give it a 7.

    And I would argue that Moneyball is a baseball movie in the same way that Strat-o-Matic is a baseball game; the structure is there, and the players’ names, but it’s more about the numbers than the game on the field.

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